How to brace and contract for stability and strength in your spine
Previously we have learnt how to breath correctly and control are breathing cycle. Now we will learn how to start controlling and activating our core control to help create spinal stability.
Your Core is made of up of a series of muscle groups surrounding and helping to control your trunk. spine & posture. The main areas being your diaphragm, abdominals, spinal and pelvic floor each area made of superficial and deeper muscle groups.
Connecting With Your Core
Lie on your back with knees bent, pelvis and low back tucked back to the ground,
Place your hands, flat palm down, below your belly button and above your trouser line — this is your target area of contraction,
Initially start your controlled deep breathing cycle – trying to fill the stomach,
At the peak of your inhale try and contract your lower abdominal muscle group where your hands are placed, hold for a couple of seconds and release the contraction and breath out,
Once you start being able to more comfortable with this you can try and hold the contraction through the entire breath cycle
Practise daily for a couple of minutes
note- once you are bracing correctly there should be very minimal impact on your breathing from the lower abdominal contraction
Juker, D. et al. Quantitative intramuscular myoelectric activity of lumbar portions of psoas and the abdominal wall during a wide variety of tasks. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30 (2): 301-310.
McGill, S. Low Back Disorders: Evidence Based Prevention and Rehabilitation. 2002. Human Kinetics Publishers.
From the moment we are born until we take our last breath…..how much time do you take to think about breathing?
Pulmonary Oxygenation in your lungs is a key component of life, health & wellbeing. This should be done normally through diaphragmatic (belly) breathing. During this blood oxygenation, digestive organ stimulation, and normal blood flow & tissue nutrition is achieved.
Chiropractic patients with chronic pain, hyperalgesia, muscular tension, sitting ergonomics, postural disturbance, thoracic & rib issues classically costochondritis have common breathing pattern disturbances which utilise the upper chest and shoulders. Negatively effecting the diaphragmatic musculature and making accessory breathing muscles work harder – adding to tension in the shoulders, upper back, neck & jaw.
Chest breathing is also a key component of our flight or flight sympathetic stress response & a hallmark of hyperarousal. Which is why as times of peak stress we can hyperventilate and a sign often associated with panic or anxiety attacks.
We take diaphragmatic breathing into account during spinal rehabilitation as it a as it helps create healthier movement patterns, to develop normal movement & strength from. Which will help the process of healing, stress and wellbeing.
Breathing Exercise One;
Lying on the ground body relaxed pelvis and low back comfortably tucked back to the floor. Place your hands below your your rib cage and above your belly button (as shown below).
Aim to breath into your abdomen/stomach area. Advancement of this is to start tilting your pelvis back and forward whilst concentrating on your smooth even full breath. Practise breathing through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
A continuation from the above exercise is to start following a set pattern to control the diaphragm, volume and rate of breathing. Its an extremely good when anxious or stressed to reduce sympathetic stress and bring you into a more parasympathetic state. The change this can create an incredible lowering of your heart rate..
Take your time with this the aim is to be controlled and relaxed. Even starting to do this 1 or 2 times a day for a few minutes can create physiological body changes.
When mastered, this can then be done in sitting, standing or normal day to day activities
Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth!
Remember we are breathing to mobilise the rib cage and reduce physical tension throughout the body, promoting mental/emotional relaxation, deeper sleep, improved energy levels, and decreased levels of stress.
Day to Day also try and practise nasal breathing as much as possible!
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Farhi D. The Breathing Book. New York: Henry
To ensure the safety and health of our staff and patients during the Coronavirus outbreak is our main priority.
We’ve implemented some precautionary measures or the foreseeable future.
We’ve firstly increased hygiene standards with table, equipment, handles and public contact points being sterilised regularly throughout the day.
For patients attending during this time;
Feel free to thoroughly wash your hand on arrival, we’ve medical grade hand wash available.
Use the hand sanitiser distributed throughout the clinic.
A no hand shake policy for now.
We have a large clinic, please try to maintain social distancing.
Cover your mouth and nose into your arm when sneezing or coughing.
If you wish to pay over the phone or online this facility is now active.
As the policy from the HSE recommendations please if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19 (cough, shortness of breath or high temperature) or anyone in close contact with you has these symptoms, please let us know so we can cancel your appointment for now & self isolate.
We strongly believe that staying open is, currently, extremely important. If we can alleviate any pressure from GP clinics, A&E and the HSE at this time, in a extremely low risk setting, then this is our priority.
Our Practitioners will now be also wearing medical grade gloves & face masks – minimising their and your exposure.
Thank you for your understanding at this time and please let us know if you have any further questions by contacting us at email@example.com
“We’re here to help you through every stage of your recovery from pain to full health and wellness.”
Most patients attending the clinic for the first time, is due to their levels of inflammatory irritation progressing to increasing symptom levels that have started to effect their everyday life, resulting in a chronic disorder.
During your primary stages of your chiropractic care there are some simple rules to follow to help aid with your recovery whilst minimising aggravation;
move – often, with safety and awareness and as frequently as comfortable🚷. Avoid unnecessary or heavy lifting.
posture – keep the spine long in its neutral three curve position when possible. No slouching, keep the head tall and low back supported. This may mean laying on the sofa or sitting in a more supported seat.
ice &then heat – using an ice pack, or bag of peas which when possible can be used 4-6 times a day for up-to 10minutes with at least an hour between sessions. If the time allows this can be followed up by heat for up to 10minutes directly after the ice. 🥶
sleep – our bodies need time to rest and heal this is mainly done whilst asleep, aim for over 8hours and nap 😴.
hydrate&eat – your body is in a state of stress and recovery, it needs good nutrition.
Whilst medication can effect the levels of pain in the short term, it is not resolving the problem. This longer term can add to the continued negative progression of back complaints. If taking medication be careful of this false positive.
Inflammation and pain are a side effect from an underlying problem which your body is reacting too. This is why your chiropractic treatment plan has been recommended specifically for you, so we can resolve the longer term causes.
6. Please follow the recommendations and treatment as advised from your chiropractor, this is what has been proven to get you the best results from your chiropractic treatment.
Reviews from Around the Web and Chiropractic Education
We are so delighted that some of our past and present patients have been so vocal online sharing their positive experiences about the chiropractic treatment they received in the clinic.
It’s really beneficial to spread the message of what we do here and educating people who aren’t aware, have never been exposed or have misconceptions about chiropractic and what we do.
Here a couple of links to some patient reviews;, here and here and here
The importance of the spine cannot be underestimated in its link to health and well being. As chiropractors we are exposed to the power of the body and its natural ability to heal and repair.
We understand that patients who are generally coming into the clinic for the first time are going through a painful inflammatory process and that it can be a scary situation to be in, especially if it’s the first time that it’s happened! That’s why we pay particular attention in explaining to you the current situation, why it’s arisen and what needs to be done to rectify the situation so that you can feel ‘normal’ again.
Using our years of experience and with seeing so many patients with so many different issues, we can take you step by step through the recovery and healing process, as well as giving you an estimated time frame to when you can expect to feel back to your best.
We will also assure all steps are taken to prevent future re-injury, making sure this situation wont present itself again!
99% of patients attending the clinic for the first time are doing so because they are going through an acutely active inflamed episode of pain. Unless it has been caused by a trauma or serious physical injury then it tends to be an innocuous movement or position. Either way the body is signalling through the negative feeling of pain that there is a serious problem and an inflammatory process in the area-that needs to be protected.
For the innocuous causes of pain flair ups the patient won’t be able to understand how something so simple has caused such a strong reaction as it was a usual movement or position that they are have completed successfully 100s of times before.
Here’s why……….we have to look at the accumulative factors that affect you over time not at that singular one event.
The body is adaptive to the environment that we live and surround ourselves in on a daily basis. Unfortunately with the demands of modern work and living we are becoming more and more sedentary and less physically active.
That is the problem………our backs are becoming excellent at sitting and not moving but then when we call upon it to move and active-it’s unable to do this.
The bodies inability then to complete and carry out what tend to be quite physically easy jobs becomes impeded by the bodies progressive negative changes that effects on it- this negative can take months or even years to reach a level of dysfunction that can now become inflamed and symptomatic.
With the changing season, its the start of all the sniffles, sneezes, coughs and colds. I good way of helping prevent suffering is by keeping your immune system and health in tip top condition. Here are some basic principles to help;
1) Optimise Your Nervous System- get adjusted and minimize interference